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A plectrum or pick is a small object used to play certain types of string instruments. The plectrum is held in the hand and used to pluck a string. This makes a hard, metallic, "twangy" sound. The instruments most commonly plucked include the guitar, lute and mandolin. The strings of a harpsichord are also plucked, although the plectra in this instrument are called "jacks". They pluck the string when the player presses a key down.